x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Sharjah are relegated from Pro League after Ajman loss

The King drop down from the top flight after 2-1 away defeat.

The Sharjah football club after losing to Ajman.
The Sharjah football club after losing to Ajman.

AJMAN // Abdulmajeed Al Nimr, Sharjah's fifth coach of the season, has called on the club's management to put a stop to the coaching carousel or risk a lengthy stay in the lower division.

Sharjah lost their battle for survival in the Pro League following a 2-1 defeat at Ajman last night and Al Nimr blamed the trigger-happy management for the club's current fate.

"I have said this before and I repeat it again," Al Nimr said last night. "The administration needs to stop changing coaches like they did this season.

"They should make sure they give the coach enough time to work with the team, give him longer contracts like they are doing at other clubs."

Starting the season with Carlos Azenha in charge, Sharjah have hired and sacked Valeriu Tita twice with Jorvan Vieira being in the hot seat for around 40 days between those two reigns. Finally, Al Nimr was given the task of saving the season. The changes, however, did not work for the team and they have not won a Pro League game since the seventh round in December. They have lost 11 of the 14 matches since, winning only three points.

Al Nimr believes the poor form of the foreign players also is part of the team's decline.

"It is evident that our foreign players were not good enough," he said. "Marcelinho did not do well in the last 10 matches so we started with him on the bench. Edinho was injured we had to pull him out in the second session.

"Now we need to choose both, our foreign and local players wisely if we hope to make a quick return to the top division."

Oliveri Tia opened the scores for Ajman with a bristling volley on the run and Karim Kerkar made it 2-0 in the 66th minute with a curling free-kick. Marcelinho pulled one back for Sharjah from the penalty spot in the 85th minute, but it was not enough to save Sharjah from relegation.

Angry Sharjah fans vented their frustration at the final whistle, accusing the management of bringing disgrace to the club and the emirate as their team suffered their second descent to the lower division in their proud history.

"I feel really sad because Sharjah are really a big team and have won a lot of trophies," Al Nimr said. "Now we can only try and fight in the lower division and make a quick return."

Talks of the Pro League being increased to 14 teams also did not bring much joy for Al Nimr and he said: "It doesn't matter whether the league is 12 teams or 14. The important thing for us is to strengthen our squad and learn from the mistakes of this season. If we don't do that, we will be in the same situation next season even if the league is increased to 14 teams."